Proton is currently in the lead in the 2012 FIA Super World Rally Championship (S-WRC) category on the second day of the Monte Carlo Rally, with P-G Andersson running in ninth spot overall.

Only 59 cars of the 89-strong entries remain at the end of the second day of the event, which has already claimed some 30 retirements. Among them was the S-WRC front runner, Frenchman Sebastien Ogier, who was running sixth overall and leading the class in his Skoda Fabia S2000 when his car was involved in a high-speed crash five kilometres from the finish, ending his race.

Ogier’s retirement saw Andersson inherit the lead in the S-WRC class, with Germany’s Kevin Abbring in the Skoda Fabia S2000 in second place and 10th overall, some 23 seconds behind. In third place – and 15th overall -is the Ford Fiesta S2000 of Craig Breen, while fourth and 20th overall is Bryan Bouffier in the Peugeot 207 S2000.

“The Monte Carlo Rally is all about pacing yourself to the finish. There is a very fine line between driving at your limit and being careful enough not to be caught out by the tricky and changing conditions of the terrain. We’ve had a good run so far, and with two more days of rallying remaining we are going to be extra cautious, as the changing conditions on the special stages make it extremely difficult and tricky,” Andersson said.

“Our goal here is to get the Satria Neo S2000 to a strong overall finish and, if all goes well, a podium finish in the S-WRC category on our debut,” he added.

Current world champion Sebastien Loeb extended his overall lead in Monte Carlo, claiming victory in five of the day’s six special stages. The Frenchman overcame the icy conditions to currently hold a one minute 37 second lead ahead of Spaniard Dani Sordo in the Mini, while Ford’s Petter Solberg is in third, a further three seconds adrift.